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Willard Spur Research Program: 2013 Activities


Research Program


2013 Objectives

The Science Panel was charge with the responsibility to identify and oversee the studies required to address the question:"What water quality standards are fully protective of beneficial uses of Willard Spur waters as they relate to the proposed POTW (publicly owned treatment works) discharge?"

Two questions were identified that follow from the program objective, i.e., these questions must be answered for the program objective to be achieved. The questions are as follows:

  1. What are the potential impacts of the Perry Willard Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant on Willard Spur?
  2. What changes to water quality standards will be required to provide long term protection of Willard Spur as they relate to the proposed POTW discharge?

While significant progress has been made in answering these questions, it is evident that further work remains to achieve these specific objectives in 2013:

  1. Better characterize the potential impacts of the Plant on Willard Spur.
  2. Complete the work that was started in 2012 to evaluate nutrient cycling in Willard Spur.
  3. Continue 2012 special studies to understand ecosystem response and nutrient limitation; and,
  4. Confirm nutrient loads to nutrient responses in Willard Spur in the context of addressing goals #1 and #2.
Protype Mesocosm

Prototype Mesocosm in Willard Spur
(Photo courtesy DWQ)

2013 Research Plan

The 2013 Research Plan was developed to achieve the objectives listed above. The plan includes four elements:

  1. Characterizing the Impacts of the Plant.
    A draft workplan has been developed for this element. This work will largely be completed by DWQ.
  2. Complete the Nutrient Cycling Study.
    The University of Utah research team will continue the work they began in 2012 but will focus more upon characterizing responses to a water column nutrient source. See the approved 2013 workplan.
  3. Open Water Special Studies.
    DWQ will complete the tasks identified in the 2013 Research Plan. See the draft Data Quality Objectives (DQOs) for the Willard Spur Mesocosm Study.
  4. Sampling and Monitoring for 2013.
    The 2013 Sampling Plan summarizes DWQ's efforts in 2013 to continue to monitor and characterize the dynamics and responses of Willard Spur.